Centre forward Jack Acquroff joined the Tigers in November 1934 after impressive goalscoring feats in the Southern League. Replacing Bill Charlton, another new signing, at pivot Acquroff scored his first City goal three days before Christmas Day against Notts County then hit his straps in the New Year – between early January and mid March he notched seven times in nine starts including winning goals against Bury, Bradford Park Avenue and Bolton Wanderers, plus a brace in a victory over Burnley. He missed only two senior games from the day to the end of his first season he signed and reached double figures for goals.
The 1935/36 season was one of contrasts. While Acquroff enhanced his reputation, appearing in every match apart from the season opener and scoring 13 goals, the Tigers slipped into a terrible run of form that a change of manager – David Menzies returning to replace Jack Hill in February 1936 – couldn’t reverse. In early September Acquroff scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over his former side Tottenham Hotspur, indeed he scored in each of the five victories that the Tigers mustered all season, but the four goals he scored in the last four games were mere consolation as Hull City slid ignominiously into Diviision Three North. Jack fell out of favour at the start of the 1936/37 season, his career progress halted by relegation, and after returning to score both goals in a late October 2-0 win against Crewe the club, rocked by the death of Menzies two week earlier, sold him on.
John “Jack” Acquroff was born in the Chelsea district of West London to parents of Russian and Scottish parentage and in the early 1930s enjoyed an education at a local building school then Willesden Polytechnic while playing local league football. In June 1931 he joined Tottenham Hotspur and for three years spent time playing for both the Tottenham reserves team and their nursery club, Kent League side Northfleet United. He scored an impressive haul of goals at Northfleet, twice heading the Kent League scoring charts, but that was not enough to secure a longer term future at White Hart Lane and he left Spurs in the 1934 close season. Jack was snapped by Folkestone, another Kentish side that competed in the Southern League, and after scoring a debut hattrick he continued to hit goals at an impressive rate, form that impressed City manager Jack Hill when he travelled to watch a different player in the Folkestone side. In mid-November 1934 City paid £250 for Jack’s services.
Acquroff joined Second Division side Bury in late October 1936 and he scored three times in his first four starts for the Shakers. However Jack dropped out of the first team in the run up to Christmas and played sporadically for the rest of the season. Despite missing a month of football early on, Jack was a first team regular in the 1937/38 season and netted nine times for Bury including a New Years Day brace against Burnley. He began the 1938/39 season on good form before missing most of November to injury, and had scored four goals to take his Bury tally to 16 goals in 58 starts when he was tempted to join divisional rivals Norwich City on the first day of February 1939. Jack started the last 17 matches of the season and scored six goals including a brace against Blackburn Rovers, but for the second time in four years his goals could not avoid his club being relegated to the third tier.
The 1939/40 season was quickly abandoned on the outbreak of World War Two, Acquroff remained with Norwich for a year until joining the Royal Air Force in October 1940. His duties kept him in England, spending time in the West Midlands and London, and he played wartime fixtures for numerous clubs – most notably Birmingahm City between 1942 and 1944 and Wolverhampton Wanderers between 1944 and 1945, but also West Bromwich Albion, Walsall, Millwall, Fulham and, in the autumn of 1945, he briefly served his first professional club Tottenham Hotspur. Acquroff retired from playing in 1946 ahead of the resumption of the Football League and took work as a railway clerk. In November 1949 Jack, along with his wife and two daughters, emigrated to Tasmania in Australia, he lived to the south of the island at Franklin then later moved to Launceston at the northern end of Tasmania, where he died in November 1987.
Date/Place of Birth: 9 September 1911, Chelsea
Hull City First Game: 1 December 1934, Barnsley H (Division Two), 23 years, 83 days old
Hull City Final Game: 24 October 1936, Crewe Alexandra H (Division Three North), 25 years, 45 days old
Willesden Polytechnic (1930-1931), Tottenham Hotspur (1931-1934), Northfleet United (1932-1934), Folkestone (1934), Hull City (1934-1936), Bury (1936-1939), Norwich City (1939-1940)
Hull City Record
Career: 72 apps, 25 goalsJack Acquroff